5 Signs It’s Time For a Joint Replacement

Man gripping knee in pain

When joint pain affects your quality of life, it's time to consider all the options for relief. For many people, joint replacement surgery gets them moving – and enjoying life – again. Here are five signs it might be time to consider joint replacement.

Joint Basics

A joint is where the end of two or more bones meet. Arthritis, a fracture or other conditions can cause joint pain. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the joints. Pain, swelling, and stiffness are the primary symptoms of osteoarthritis, which can affect any joint in the body but is particularly common in the hip and knee.

During a joint replacement procedure, an orthopedic surgeon removes the damaged joint and puts in a new one called a prosthesis, which replicates the movement of a normal, healthy joint.

More than 1 million Americans have a hip or knee replaced each year, according to the National Institutes of Health. Only a doctor can tell if you need a joint replaced.

5 Signs It Might Be Time For A Joint Replacement

Joint pain persists or recurs over time and interferes with daily activities

  • Joint pain or stiffness limits everyday activities like walking, bending, climbing stairs, getting in and out of chairs.
  • Joint pain continues while resting or sitting down.

Joint pain is limiting your mobility and you are no longer as mobile as you'd like to be

  • You may find it hard to walk more than a few blocks without significant pain and you may need to use a cane or walker.

Other treatments have not worked

  • Treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, lubricating injections, physical therapy, or other surgeries have not relieved the pain.
  • If nonsurgical treatments such as weight loss and other changes to your everyday activities do not relieve your pain and disability, your doctor may recommend total joint replacement.

Imaging tests show advanced arthritis or significant joint damage

  • X-rays help to determine the extent of damage or deformity in your hip or knee.
  • Sometimes other tests, like a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, may be needed to determine the condition of the bone and soft tissues of your knee or hip.

You are ready for rehabilitation following the surgery

  • Exercise and therapy are important parts of the recovery process. Your doctor or physical therapist will provide you with specific exercises to help restore movement and strengthen the joint.

About Clark Outpatient Rehabilitation Center

Located in the Ambulatory Center on the campus of Doylestown Hospital, Doylestown Health's spacious new Clark Outpatient Rehabilitation Center provides a convenient one-stop option for multidisciplinary outpatient therapy. Seamlessly connecting consultation, diagnosis, intervention and treatment services with physical therapy, occupational, hand and speech therapy, the Clark Outpatient Rehabilitation Center is staffed by licensed therapists only.

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